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Speaks in Binary

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"Actually I, um, haven't finished the first word yet."
Pit: Does something seem a little... off with Pyrrhon?
Palutena: How can you tell?
Pyrrhon: 01001011010010010100110001001100.Translation 

Binary code: The base-2 number system. Occasionally known as the "language" of computers. However, it's not usually spoken. But when it is, it's this trope. It's usually used jokingly as robots "native" language.

However, "binary" is not a language: Raw binary data has no meaning without a structure describing what it is. The "binary language" could be anything from "English text encoded in ASCII" to "Ideas, each attributed to a 16-bit number".

Compare Speaks in Shout-Outs, where a character speaks almost exclusively in reference to other works.



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     Anime and Manga  

  • The old modem like chirping emitted by droids in Star Wars films is called "binary" in-universe. However, it's unknown whether it's binary as we know it and how is it encoded into sound.

  • Ashley, and all the other aliens, in Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crime series have binary as their native language. They also play binary Scrabble.
  • Appropriately, Binary Larry in Emily the Strange: Stranger and Stranger. He writes a message on the sewer walls in binary. Emily knows how to decode it.
    • Binary Larry has a friend named Hex Lex who chisels code into the sidewalks in hexadecimal (base 16).

     Live Action Television  

  • In the Flight of the Conchords song "The Humans Are Dead", there is a binary solo. It doesn't mean anything though.

     Newspaper Comics  
  • In a Dilbert strip, Dilbert is eating lunch with a nameless coworker. The coworker brags, "When I first started programming, we didn't have any of these sissy windows! We only had ones and zeros. And sometimes we didn't even have ones! I once programmed an entire database using only zeros!" Dilbert replies, "You had zeros? We had to use the letter O!"
  • Jason does this in a FoxTrot comic.

     Tabletop Games  

     Video Games  
  • In Mass Effect, the final message from the rogue AI on the Luna Base is in binary. It translates into "HELP".
  • When Pyrrhon from Kid Icarus: Uprising tries to control the Aurum, only for them to take control of him, he speaks out loud in binary; it translates to "KILL".
  • Volt in Tales of Phantasianote  speaks almost entirely in binary, causing a misunderstanding between him and the heroes which leads to a fight, and later, a contract.
  • In The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation, CAT-209's dying speech is in binary; it translates to "FUCK YOU NERD".
  • Played with in Chapter 2 of Deltarune. The cat-like opponent Tasque speaks in what looks like gibberish meowing, but their dialogues are actually written in binary, with every "me" representing a 0 and every "ow" representing a 1. These binary texts can be converted to UTF-8, as follows.note 
    • meowowme owowmeow: 01101101 ("m")
    • meowowme meowmeow: 01100101 ("e")
    • meowowme owowowow: 01101111 ("o")
    • meowowow meowowow: 01110111 ("w")
    • If you pet them, they'll say, "owowowmememeowme owmemeowowmemeow owmeowmemeowmeow": 11100010 10011001 10100101 ("♥", a heart emoji)

     Web Comics  

     Web Original  
  • Pirate_Tinman speaks in binary because his actual voice is broken, as shown when he first booted up in Shadow of Israphel and also in "Sunshine of Israpony". This is used to call Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane idiots behind their back at some points.
  • SF Debris makes this joke in this review of Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Killing Game". A Borg "love song" sung by Chuck!Seven is in binary with a hexadecimal verse.
  • Quite a few SCP Foundation writers seem to be under the impression that binary is some kind of universal language, considering the number of SCP objects of alien or extradimensional origin with "messages in binary" in them.

     Web Videos 
  • This music video featuring a robot dance with the lyrics being in binary.

     Western Animation  
  • In Futurama, Bender says a prayer in binary. He ends with "2".
    • There's also the Time Code from Bender's Big Score, a long list of zeros and ones that is said like an incantation to send the speaker back in time.
    • In "Godfellas", the galaxy that may or may not be God signals Bender in binary. Bender mentions that he only knows enough binary to ask where the bathroom is (which contradicts the above, but hey, Rule of Funny).
      • Not really. Many religions have prayer in other languages that you're not actually expected to know. If all Catholics understood Latin, there would be no Ominous Latin Chanting; just... Ominous Chanting.
  • In an episode of ReBoot where the Plucky Comic Relief told a joke in binary; the "binary joke" comes out to "Take my wife, please!" when translated into ASCII.


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